kuremachisu (kuremachisu) wrote,
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KUREMACHISU! COMEBACK: MIA, Maki Nomiya, Youmi Kimura, advantage Lucy....

KUREMACHISU! COMEBACK SPECIAL:
Music that Sucks Infinitely Less Cock than Ayu


Ayumi Hamasaki is to JPop what marijuana is to that exciting world of illict narcotics (which Zora & I do not, by the way, endorse in any way, shape, or form) - The gateway drug (and also, Zora points out to me as I write this, "the drug of inferior quality- why smoke pot when you can do a line of coke?"- I wouldn't know about that though, although she clearly does) and love it or hate it, along with BoA's new haircut (I mean, come on. Bangs? The girl's one claim to fame is that she only has two hairstyles and even less facial expressions. I fear a change at this late stage could be dangerous to her career, but that's a topic for an entirely different update), Ayu's demise has been one of the more hotly debated topics of the JPop world. Or at least, the JPop world outside Japan, where the crazier fanboys & girls seem to reside anyway.

First, let's get one thing sorted out. I -liked- Ayu. Loved her, even. I actually OWN 4 of her albums, which means I actually paid for all of them. At $35 a pop when I already had all the songs in mp3 format, that's no mean feat. She's just not one of my fandoms anymore, and that's because her music jumped the shark. Goodness knows her image didn't, she's still as beautiful as before, but somewhere along the line (hell, let's pinpoint. The last song of hers I actually liked was theme of a-nation '03, which at least, surely, deserves a proper title?) her music lost a little something that made it Ayu- her lyrics and songs were, to an extent, an image of human existance. They were deeply personal to her. And they're just not anymore. Now whether you blame this on Ayu or her management, for many former fans, the fact remains.

Now back to the marijuana thing. From marijuana, as you will well know if you paid attention in Drug Education, we addicts move on to bigger and better things! And that's what Zora & I aim to bring you with this update- a snippet of what we, at least, think is some of the better Asian music which you might be missing if you're still chilling in Camp Ayu. And if you ARE still a Happy Camper and we can't change your mind, do yourself a favour- frisbee your "MY STORY" CD in the general direction of the garbage can and buy yourself a copy of "I am..." or "Duty". Now THERE is some quality music.

Disclaimer: we mean no offense to anyone, except that at the same time, we TOTALLY do, because we're shameless attention seekers. If you send us hatemail for this one, Zora says she'll call you 7 kinds of dirty words. If you defriend us, you're too easily offended and, really, a bit of a loser, and we make no apology for insulting your fandom.



SOMETHING TO SAY? We want to hear it. Don't flame us in the comment field. Take some time to show that you care. Send an email my way: ladymisswarp[at]gmail[dot]com with appropriate signs in the appropriate places. We will read and take into consideration every email that you send.

* - If you download, please COMMENT. That's the only way we can tell what music you like, and it will help us choose music for future updates. This still goes for our new Friends-Only rule. And we like comments! :D
* - Please download only one song at a time, and DO NOT HOTLINK. Any hotlinking may result in a temporary suspension of files, and that means no downloads for anyone. Please remember, the internet is there to be shared, so respect others.
* - If you like the music, support the artists. These files are intended for sampling purposes only.
* - This week's songs will be removed: Whenever.




Title: Ba kkwo
Artist(s): Lee Jung Hyun
Language: Korean
Album/Single: Let's go to my star
Reviewed by: Azora
Genre: Dance/Electronica
Download (right or left click): here.

[BIO]

Lee Jung Hyun was born in Daegu, South Korea in 1980. She began her singing/acting career at the age of 16 in the movie Ggotip. Lee Jung Hyun has continously topped the dance/pop charts in Korea since her debut single "Wa" and has won numerous awards. Her trademarks are electronica and gritty dance numbers, as well as her mini-microphone that she wears on her finger during performances.

[REVIEW]

"Ba kkwo" caught my attention immediately when I listened to my first Lee Jung Hyun album. It's also her third single, I believe. Anyway, this is a gritty dance-anthem. The title means "Change", if I'm correct. In any case, Lee Jung Hyun is a departure from most Asian dance music, being that she sounds very angry. I love it! The song is very catchy too, but original, even though it incorporates all the elements of a song of its genre. Ayu tried that too, but, well... the unoriginal backing on "INSPIRE" just didn't really work out.



Title: Galang
Artist(s): M.I.A.
Language: English/Mixed
Album/Single: Arular
Reviewed by: Azora
Genre: Dance/Electronic
Download (right or left click): here.

[BIO]

The sole member of M.I.A., Mathangi Arulpragasam, a.k.a Maya, was born in Hounslow, London, though is a native of Sri Lanka. She grew up in Sri Lanka in the midst of a civil war, has lived in India, and eventually her family fled Sri Lanka to live in London. Arular is her first album, and her first single, "Galang", was an international dance hit.

[REVIEW]

I really can't say much about this song. It rocks so much. Muy groovy. There are a lot of electronic sounds sampled here, and Maya mixes English with slang, and (from what I'm told) her native language. It's easy to sing along to, as well. The best part is towards the end though. Just download it and see. As for comparing it Ayu? Ayu cannot compare.



Title: Mizu no Sanbyoshi
Artist(s): Youmi Kimura
Language: Japanese
Album/Single: Mizu no Sanbyoshi [Single]
Reviewed by: Azora
Genre: Opera/Classical Pop
Download (right or left click): here.

[BIO]

Youmi Kimura, more recently known for her song "Itsumo Nando Demo" which was the theme for Spirited Away, a Hayao Miyazaki film, is a classical composer, singer, and lyre and piano player. She once studied abroad in California at both the high school and university level.

[REVIEW]

I fell in love with Youmi Kimura when I heard "Itsumo Nando Demo" on the credits of Spirited Away and this is the only song I've found by her since. I'm planning on stocking up on her albums one of these days. Youmi has such a strong voice and she just holds her tones to perfection – if you like Emiko Shiratori, you might enjoy Youmi too. The song is pretty mellow. Compare it to some of Ayu's vibrato-driven ballads and I think some of you may prefer this.



Title: Nemurenu Shoujo [Live]
Artist(s): Yumi Shizukusa
Language: Japanese
Album/Single: Kokoro wa Itsumo Rainbow Color [Single]
Reviewed by: Azora
Genre: Pop/R&B
Download (right or left click): here.

[BIO]

Yumi Shizukusa, who briefly stinted on the Indies scene, is an Urban artist with Giza.
She performed live with Mai Kuraki and Rina Aiuchi before her debut.

[REVIEW]

This is a live cut from Yumi's first albums. The quality of her voice live is very enjoyable – you just can't tell with artists anymore. In fact, the track from her album is nearly identical in voice quality – I've compared them. Of course, this is more like an acoustic version with different background singers.



Title: Star Struck
Artist(s): Maki Nomiya
Language: Japanese / English
Album/Single: Miss Maki Nomiya Sings (Album, 2001)
Reviewed by: Jo
Link(s): http://www.missmakinomiya.com
Genre: Electronic
Download (right or left click): here.

[BIO]

Though Maki Nomiya started her life in the limelight as a model in the late 70's, she began singing when she released her first album, an idol record titled Pinku no Kokoro, in 1982. She was picked up by group Portable Rock and left her idol days behind to become their lead vocalist. It was here that she attracted the attention of Pizzicato Five, who had just lost their previous vocalist, and was persuaded to join the band. The song "Twiggy Twiggy" from Maki's first album was given the Pizzicato makeover and became instrumental to P5's success, both overseas and in Japan. Maki released her second solo album, Miss Maki Nomiya Sings, while still with the band, and stayed with them until their eventual split in 2001. The following year she released her third solo album, LadyMissWarp. She has since written several books (Cahier de la Mode, which is semi-autobiographical, as well as Star Struck and more recently an advice book titled Dress Code), worked with numerous other artists including m-flo, and put out her fourth solo album (officially, her third, since PNK isn't listed or recognised by Maki or her management). She recently joined Japanese group The Plastics and formed a new unit with them titled Plastics Sex. She has been touring with PS and they will release an album together soon.

[REVIEW]

Firstly, I should remind everyone of my undying love for Ms. Nomiya. The undisputed Queen of Shibuya Kei (the pop-music revolution that has its roots in Tokyo's stylish Shibuya district and has spawned legendary artists like Cornelius and Mondo Grosso), she made Pizzicato Five what they are best known for today. So, in attempting to bring you the best of the best, Maki (for her shere influence, not to mention her stunning vocals) seemed like an obvious choice. She has real staying-power: building up a cult following and even stirring the US market in her 23-year career. Even though she's older now and married with children, she shows no signs of slowing down.
Now, a bit about the song: I will remember this song, eternally, from one of the most surreal experiences of my life. Travelling into Melbourne city to stay in a hotel for a night, we took the train and got off at one of the underground stations. The underground part, obviously, is linked up the ground-level part of the station by a gigantic escalator with stainless steel walls. It's very eerily quiet, too. So I had this on my earphones and I was heading up this huge, pseudo-futuristic escalator. It was very bizarre but seemed strangely fitting of the song.
If you find the influences on this song familiar, that would be because it was both written and produced by Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda- better known, by all accounts, as Cibo Matto! I didn't know that when first I heard it, but I nearly died when I found out, and it has cemented it as one of my favourite Maki songs ever. It's electronic with dreamy vocals, and Yuka's obvious instrumental influences. Not typical Maki, by any means, but great stuff anyway.



Title: i dream about you
Artist(s): Yuka Honda
Language: English
Album/Single: Eucademix (Album, 2004)
Reviewed by: Jo
Genre: Electronic
Download (right or left click): here.

[BIO]

Japanese ex-patriot Yuka Honda DJed with many small outfits before meeting Miho Hatori and starting legendary trip-hop outfit Cibo Matto. Originally, Yuka was responsible for all the groups' music, while Miho handled lyrics and vocals. This changed by the time their second album, Stereo Type A, was released. At the height of Cibo Matto's success, Yuka met her former boyfriend and long-time artistic partner Sean Lennon (son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono). He played bass on ST-A as well as the Super Relax EP and toured with the group. Yuka produced his first solo album, Into the Sun, for him and also lent vocals to the piece. She also worked on a number of other projects while with Cibo Matto. After their split, Yuka released her first solo album (Memories Are My Only Witness), DJed a lot live in New York, produced numerous other projects and eventually released her second album, Eucademix (a play on words for "Yuka de Mix" which translates roughly to "Yuka Mixes") last year.

[REVIEW]

After I randomly downloaded Yuka's Memories Are My Only Witness earlier this year, I became hooked. Her music is unique, abstract techno but still with catchy melodies. MAMOW is more instrumental and spacey than Eucademix, though, which returns to more recognisable Cibo-Matto-esque songs and features more vocals (including those of Miho Hatori, proving that there is no anamosity between the two). Compared with Miho's recent efforts (collaborations with the Beastie Boys and Baldwin Bros, as well a as Brazillian-influenced duo Smokey & Miho), I tend to prefer Yuka's work. I also like MAMOW more than Eucademix, but I was trying to pick a song that was user-friendly and this seemed an obvious choice. It's a little strange, a little experimental and a little hard to place, but it definitely hooked me from first listen.



Title: Red Bicycle
Artist(s): advantage Lucy
Language: English
Album/Single: Red Bicycle (single, released on promotional cassette), Have a Good Journey (Greatest Hits package, album, 2001)
Reviewed by: Jo
Genre: Pop-rock
Link: http://www006.upp.so-net.ne.jp/advantageLucy/
Download (right or left click): here.

[BIO]

I can't tell you much about advantage Lucy. As a largely indies group, not much English info is available about them. I can tell you that they were once known as Lucy Van Pelt (after the Peanuts character), breifly had a contract with Toshiba EMI at the height of their popularity in the late 90's, but left the label to form their own independent one, Solaris Records. Though they've suffered many member changes, they're still gigging today and their new album will be released very soon.

[REVIEW]

I have no idea how I survived before I discovered aL. I actually only downloaded this song because hell, it was a cool name for a band. On first listen, I didn't pay much attention to it, but each subsequent time I heard it, I loved it more and more. It's not my favourite aL song, but it's one of their first and best-known, released while they were still Lucy Van Pelt. The Engrish can be a little irritating at times (I have no idea what they're saying, to be honest), but it's good old-fashioned melodic pop-rock at its finest, with backing vocals that remind me, strangely enough, of Billy Corgan (Smashing Punpkins' lead singer). Lead singer Aiko's voice is adorable, too, but not in a sickly way. ENJOY!



Title: Pan-da
Artist(s): Aprils
Language: Japanese / English
Album/Single: Pan-da (Album, 2004)
Reviewed by: Jo
Genre: Techno-pop-rock-Shibuya Kei
Link: http://aprils.jp
Download (right or left click): here.

[BIO]

The Aprils are another one of those bands I've randomly discovered that I know little to nothing about. I can tell you that they're signed with Usagi-Chang records, though, and have released 3 albums to date. Pan-da is probably the best known of those, because of its cover art which features the now-famous Pandatone Gloomy, created by Mori Chack. The Aprils got together back in college and started gigging for real in '99.

[REVIEW]

I wishwishwishwishwishWISH I had the PV for this song. Because it's animated and features the Pandatone Gloomy doing all kinds of shit in accordance with the lyrics of female lead Miho Iguchi's part. Anyway, if I ever figure out all the lyrics to this, I will die of happiness. But I do know the PAN-DA CHOP! part from watching the live-video. This song is cutesy without being coma-inducing pop-rock with a real techno/Shibuya-Kei edge. It's catchy as hell, but it tires pretty quickly. Still, I find it amusing and someone else here might too!


APRIL KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT COCAINE, WHERE OR FROM WHOM IT CAN BE PURCHASED. Thanks.
Tags: advantage lucy, lee jung hyun, m.i.a., maki nomiya, the aprils, youmi kimura, yuka honda, yumi shizukusa
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